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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Mayor Rob Ford: When Bad PR Turns Into Reality TV Gold

Rob-FordOn the off-chance you have been stranded on a deserted island or binge viewing on reality TV, you may not have been granted the pleasure to be introduced to Toronto Mayor and professional crack smoker, Rob Ford.

Here he is pictured bringing sexy back … and front … and all around.

Canadian politics is surprisingly comical. First, Rob Ford holds a press conference about his warm pipe ways, then does a media tour about how he has changed his ways, bull rushes a co-worker on closed-circuit TV, yet is still out painting the town a beer-stained tee shirt taupe.

All of this scorched earth behavior hasn’t kicked him out of office with a gavel sticking in his maple leaf. In fact, the city digs him. American talk show hosts love him. And now, reality TV wants a piece of him. 

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Chipotle Comms Clarifies: Fear Not the ‘Guacpocalypse’

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Here’s a case in which a company’s PR might almost regret having to contradict a viral story.

A couple of days ago a post on ThinkProgress highlighted a section of Chipotle’s annual report to investors, which expressed concern over the potential effect of global climate change and subsequent extended droughts on the availability of avocados and other produce.

“…we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost.”

The story went viral primarily due to the fact that it provided alternately bored/hungry/angry Americans with yet another excuse to scream at each other online. In other words, it was just another crappy, completely unproductive day in America’s political comment threads, which exist just to prove our theory that the human race might not be worth saving.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Administration Can Make Its Own News, Thanks

Here’s a quick one we thought we’d run after yesterday’s House of Cards discussion.

While every PR person worth his or her salt will develop a close relationship with media contacts, some politicians’ offices try to bypass the traditional media entirely. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s administration, for example, decided to start issuing its own weekly “State of New York” video reports last Friday. Here’s the first “webisode”:

Skeptical? You’re not the only one.

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NRA Pushes Back Against the ‘Pop-Tart’ / Toy Gun Bill. Really.

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And then, little Johnny, tell the principal to “Stick-em Up.” 

It’s no secret that America is an overly litigious society consumed with ambulance chaser commercials and the threats of legal beagles over little-to-nothing. We’ve had more than our fair share amount of ridiculous lawsuits, proving that lawyers will shill for anything — specifically, a big check.

To wit, the Florida affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has Pop-Tarts and the second Amendment on its mind as it hollers at its pool of lobbyists and lawyers on the speed dial. In that order. How? You’re going to love this.

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#PRFail: You Know It’s Bad When the GOP Can’t Keep This Guy Happy

GOProud Jimmy LaSalviaMeet Jimmy LaSalvia. 

With his parted hair, used-car salesman smile and plush tweed jacket, the guy is a walking billboard for the Grand Old Party, no? Up until a few days ago, he was one of its most vociferous cheerleaders, too.

Oh, and he’s gay.

LaSalvia is founder of Republican activist/truncated fundraising group GOProud.org. You would think this guy resembles everything 2016 wishes it could be for Republicans, yes? Not so much.

According to Time, LaSalvia left the GOP for reasons this raging Independent finds baffling. Crisis communications lobbyists need to run to the nearest white courtesy phone.

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House GOP Sends Reps a ‘How to Discuss Unemployment’ Doc

The debate over whether or not to extend unemployment benefits, which recently expired for more than a million Americans who can’t find work, promises to provide the public with its next extremely annoying political “battle”—and our two parties have already begun practicing their counter-arguments.

Yesterday Robert Costa of The Washington Post acquired a doc distributed by House Republican Conference chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers to all members of that august body advising them on how to discuss the matter at hand.

Seems that “unemployed people are just lazy, OBV“, while popular with a certain core voter base, doesn’t play so well with the public at large. Who knew?

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Nothing terribly surprising in here.

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‘Twas the Day Before Congress

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Oh, hey there. Sorry, it took me so long to blog here. I’m currently writing my wish list for Santa Claus — pink slips and coal in the stockings for Congress. You see, according to a recent Pew Research poll, the 113th U.S. Congress is on track to be the absolute worst, unproductive collection of misfit toys in the history of ever.

And since the misgivings of this U.S. Congress is so colossally screwed up with political doublespeak, trite psychobabble and terrible talking points, I thought it would only be fitting to address this Congress is spoken word.

So, pull up a hookah, down your hipster glasses and give your best snap applause for Brother SPW and “‘Twas the Day Before Congress.

*snap snap snap snap* Read more

Crisis Comms 101: Announcing a Government Shutdown

Today’s shutdown story is all about party politics, and any public opinion poll will tell you it’s terrible PR for the representatives responsible (in the abstract, at least). But our readers should appreciate the fact that communications teams at almost every publicly funded organization in the country had a job to do today: let everyone know how this stupid melodrama will affect their operations.

Let’s review how some of them did it and what it means.

No more awesome intergalactic Instagram:

No more lines at the Air and Space Museum:

No more PandaCam:

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White House Taps Baltimore Ravens to Promote ‘Obamacare’ Enrollment

Don’t worry, your ears are fine—that click-clack you’re hearing is the sound of a thousand conservative bloggers registering their disapproval of Super Bowl champions the Baltimore Ravens.

Today the White House and the state of Maryland announced plans to use the champs to promote the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. More specifically, the team will work to encourage MD residents to enroll in the statewide health insurance exchanges that serve as one of the central pillars of the law.

The administration first aimed to get the entire National Football League to collaborate on a promotional campaign, but the organization (wisely) chose to sit that one out due, no doubt, to the corrosive power of partisan politics. Individual teams, on the other hand, can do as they choose and the league will support them.

So how will this new partnership work?

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Reputation Management at Amazon: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last week, online retail behemoth Amazon received the kind of PR boost that any brand outside the Republican Party would kill for: President Obama visited its massive Chattanooga warehouse and used his media megaphone to promote the company for creating jobs fit for every politician’s favorite fallback character: the “middle class” American.

This is all well and good, but Amazon’s recent reputation management challenges are far more complicated…and less complimentary.

The real purpose of the President’s visit was to propose a bargain between the two political parties in which he would trade a cut in corporate tax rates for increased government investment in “education, training, and public works projects” designed to facilitate the creation of those precious middle class jobs. The event unsurprisingly attracted critiques of both the company and the President that highlight their unique PR struggles.

It’s true that Amazon’s planned hiring wave will create as many as 7,000 American jobs, but Obama’s visit raised several questions that the company would rather not address:

  • Are these jobs truly “middle class?”
  • Is Amazon the sort of company that will help strengthen the American economy at large?
  • Will this PR stunt facilitate any truly meaningful political activity?

That’s easy: no, no, and…no.

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